By Sports Editor Tom Griffin
Following a painful outing against Bridgewater State in the weekend prior, UMassD football used the momentum of their Homecoming game to make quick work of Worcester State’s Lancers Saturday afternoon.
Following their 4-0 surge to start the season, the Corsairs hit two back-to-back roadblocks in Framingham State and Bridgewater State, suffering rough losses in both affairs. Not only had their hot streak been snapped, but the team was starting to lose momentum and freefall down the MASCAC standings.
The Corsairs needed a convincing win against a MASCAC team to reset themselves in-conference and rebound off the short losing streak. The winless, then 0-6 Lancers were the optimal team to pick on.
The final score, a 46-8 thrashing of their Worcester-based opponent, reflected near perfection from the Corsairs on both sides of the ball.
The offense, which could move the rock in the past but struggled to finish drives, put up six total touchdowns while battering the Lancer defense to the tune of 519 total yards.
The passing game, while producing in spades for 300 yards on the afternoon, only put up 7 points off of a 1-yard dot from Stephen Gacioch to Abbi Bamgbose. Leroy Brown, Gacioch’s second-favorite target against the Lancers, hauled in five receptions for a grand total of 119 receiving yards, leading the receiving corps in the injured DJ Machado’s stead.
The ground game, however, accounted for five touchdowns, three of which were rushed in by Gacioch. Jacob Francis and Winston DeLeon were also credited with punching in a touchdown each, further padding a UMassD lead that was nearly insurmountable by halftime.
Despite the offensive productivity, it was the efforts of the Corsair defense that so easily secured the win. Taking on a mantra of bending but not breaking, the UMassD Defenders allowed Worcester State 292 yards on the outing but made it impossible for the Lancers to finish a drive.
With five total interceptions against three different Lancer quarterbacks, and one of which returned for a pick-six by Javien Delgado, the Lancers managed only two field goals, and never found the endzone.
The only flaws of note for the Corsairs were a sequence of miscues on special teams. Kicker James Tooker was only 4/7 on extra points. His last attempt, while deep in garbage time, was blocked and returned to the house for two Lancer points. Three points missed and two points allowed were far from enough to affect the outcome of the game, but these issues could make or break a deep playoff run.
Back on track to their winning ways, the Corsairs look to extend their newly formed winning streak through their remaining three-game MASCAC gauntlet. The next opponent, Western Connecticut, will be a true test of their postseason preparedness.